Research Funding Inquiry – your ideas needed

The Education and Training Minister has asked The House Standing Committee on Education, Employment and Training to inquire into and report on the efficiency, effectiveness and coherency of Australian Government funding for research, in the following terms:

  • The diversity, fragmentation and efficiency of research investment across the Australian Government, including the range of programs, guidelines and methods of assessment of grants;
  • The process and administrative role undertaken by research institutions, in particular universities, in developing and managing applications for research funding;
  • The effectiveness and efficiency of operating a dual funding system for university research, namely competitive grants and performance-based block grants to cover systemic costs of research; and
  • Opportunities to maximise the impact of funding by ensuring optimal simplicity and efficiency for researchers and research institutions while prioritising delivery of national priorities and public benefit.

This inquiry will be focused on federally funded research agencies, their funding mechanisms and university collaborative research. The inquiry will not consider the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Funding Programs, which are in the process of being reformed.

Research Australia will be making a submission, and we want input from our membership, to ensure we are accurately representing your views.

For context, areas areas we have addressed in the past include:

  • The inadequate level for funding of indirect costs
  • ‘falling between the cracks’- the scope for research proposal to fall between the ARC and NHMRC. Do you have an example?
  • The need for predictable, sustainable levels of funding for programs.

Please contact Greg Mullins, Head of Policy, ( or Lucy Clynes, Head of Government Relations ( if you would like to have any questions or would like to contribute to Research Australia’s submission.


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